Construction workplaces are risky by nature, and from time to time, certain hazards may develop. These hazards can lead to a number of violations if an OSHA inspector were to show up at your workplace. Do you know what your rights and responsibilities are? If you are facing a citation, now is the time to consult with one of our OSHA lawyers to learn how you can become OSHA compliant and turn your business around for a safer and more productive workplace. One of the first steps you can take is to begin the abatement process promptly. This three-part article will share the five steps to help you survive the abatement. Read part two and part three to learn more.
Understand the Violation
Before delving deep into the OSHA process, be sure that you understand the violation that OSHA has issued a citation for. This will help you to not only correct the violation but will also help you avoid the same issue in the future. Also, abatement costs can be staggering so you should be sure that the citation was justified. If you do not understand a violation, an OSHA attorney can assist you further by participating in an informal conference on your behalf at the local level. There are four types of violations. They include:
Willful violations: Occurs when an employer disregards a safety regulation/standard on purpose.
Serious violations: Occurs when an employee is seriously harmed or killed as a result of a workplace hazard.
Repeated violations: Occurs when an employer is cited for the same violation (or very similar) it has been previously cited.
Other-than-serious violations: Violations that are related to job safety and health but are not severe in nature.
A failure to abate: An employer can receive a violation for failing to correct a previously cited violation.
Step 1: Fix
Once a hazard has been identified at your worksite, you are required to fix the hazard as soon as possible. While OSHA understands that some hazards may not be fixed quickly, due to an employer’s legal right to challenge a citation, the agency has implemented a “Quick Fix” program. This program is an incentive that encourages employers to abate violations before the closing conference. In return, compliance officers will reduce said violations.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.